“A worker named John Gallo was discharged after a “spotter” caught him “smiling” with co-workers after being warned earlier about “laughing with the other fellows.””
Steven Watts in “The People’s Tycoon.”
This quote relates to Henry Ford’s policy of allowing no laughing, talking or smiling on his assembly lines from his belief that these distractions caused efficiency degradation.
Sometimes the intensity of OSS projects can cast a similar pall over the team.
However, research has shown that Ford’s assumptions were actually quite the opposite of reality. According to Happiness Interactive, it’s been shown that “happy workers:
• have higher levels of productivity
• produce higher sales
• perform better in leadership positions
• receive higher performance ratings
• are less likely to take sick days (happy employees actually get sick less!), to quit, or to become burned out!”
I can speak from the experience of working on intense OSS projects far away from family and friends just how important it was to have team members who could bring smiles to the faces of those around them. Yes John and Egay, this refers to you two class-clowns in particular.
Despite being excellent at their primary roles, their up-beat personalities also had a huge impact on the projects we worked on together.
Do you intentionally seek out colleagues with the gift of comedy for your most manic OSS projects? I know I do!